Weather and the "Internet of Things"

By MetService Innovation and Technology team member, Brian Bell

As one of the resident “geeks” at MetService, I have been watching with interest the proliferation of personal weather stations (PWS). One PWS that has really captured my attention is the 5-in-1 smart weather camera from BloomSky.  The smart weather camera known as SKY2 looks like its design was somewhat inspired by R2-D2. It is a first for me to describe a weather station as “cute”. 

BloomSky weather camera

What is a storm?

What is a Storm? 

By meteorologist Tom Adams

The word ‘storm’ is frequently misused in the media and colloquially, almost as much as the misuse of the term ‘weather bomb’*.  In the strictest meteorological sense, a ‘storm’ is only a storm if accompanied by storm-force winds, which are defined by the Beaufort scale as having an average speed of over 47 knots (88 km/h). However, there are several other types of storm which don’t require storm-force winds.

Understanding the long range forecast

by Georgina Griffiths, senior meteorologist.

Resolution counts

Weather forecasting is basically an ‘initial value problem.’ This means that if weather models could capture the current weather perfectly i.e. correctly initialise the current state of the atmosphere, then in theory, they could forecast the future weather accurately well beyond the present limit of a week or so. After all, the atmosphere is a fluid, and follows strict laws of physics.

What makes a rainbow? An explanation of atmospheric optical phenomena

by Meteorologist Claire Flynn


Here at MetService, people often send us photos of interesting clouds, unusual weather, and also atmospheric optical phenomena. Atmospheric optics is the branch of physics which describes how light interacts with the Earth’s atmosphere, to create a wide range of visual spectacles. Things such as rainbows, ice haloes, and crepuscular rays all come under atmospheric optics, along with many others. These can be observed all around New Zealand under the right conditions.